AUSTIN'S OBSESSION SPLENDID/ REVIEWS/ 8/24/2004 -I wonder if Machines of Loving Grace started out with a synthesizer, some found noises and a bootleg of the Terminator theme. That's what it feels like Austin's Obsession is up to on this DIY release -- marathon loops, vocals more breathed than sung, and lots of noise. Of course, Independent Film is already more inventive and engaging than several established electronica artists have been in years. It's not every day you find a one-man army with an original idea....... -However, his song structures and the sheer scope of his dedication (how many found sounds did he acquire for this disc?) already serve to impress, regardless of his occasional audio assaults. Complex in design yet minimalist at the base, Independent Film has a decidedly epic feel, due mostly to pointed use of symphonic elements, concert piano (or it's keyboard equivalent) and a touch of windblown, John Tesh-like excess. If it were on a major label with money, we'd be hearing about it in a magazine with glossy pages. Austin's Obsession may be on to something. -Justin Kownacki BIG LOU'S CD REVIEWS (Aug 22, 2004) -This is a CD of electronic music performed by Joseph Algiers, Jr., who is the creative force behind Austin's Obsession. The album title, 'Independent Film,' is an apt one, because the music moves in a sort of progression from beginning to end, 14 tracks in all. I didn't understand the progression, but then I never understand independent films either, so perhaps the irony is intentional. I recognize and appreciate Algiers' genius, but can't quite make the translation of his work from music into sense. Maybe you will succeed where I failed. The songs cover a fairly wide range of style and format. There's one track that sounds like R2D2 on acid, another that features a syncopated note repeated over and over from beginning to end - but timed at a very odd fraction of a beat, as only electronic music can do. A human performer would tear off his clothes and go running naked into the street if forced to follow such a bizarre rhythmical pattern. And there are a few really fine songs, most notably 'Slightly Difficult' and 'Beautiful Robots' (tracks 2 and 13). Either of these songs could become popular with proper exposure. Also interesting is track 8, 'The End of the World' which features a noise that sounds like a cross between a foghorn, a duduk, and a fraternity hazing session gone horribly, horribly wrong....... -The range of atonality is nothing that Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes didn't find back in the '70s. At one point I thought I heard the influence of Pink Floyd's 'Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict,' but then I thought, no, who in their right mind would copy that song, either intentionally or unintentionally? Still, don't pay any attention to all this dithering - just take my advice and give it a listen, I think you'll like it.
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